Is the Hyundai Santa Cruz Too Weird for Truck Owners?

We want to know how you feel about the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. Recently, critics mentioned that weird isn’t always a bad thing. So, they essentially called the Hyundai Santa Cruz weird. But does it have a funky style that’s off-putting or does it work? 

Are people attracted to the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz? 

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz in the woods. It didn't score as well on Consumer Reports as many had hoped.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

According to Business Insider, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is weird. But they didn’t mean it in a bad way. During one afternoon with the truck, three different people came up and asked, “What is that thing?” 

Notice how they said thing instead of truck. The Ford Maverick has more of a boxy, upright shape, like a traditional truck, and it’s outselling the Santa Cruz. But the Hyundai Santa Cruz is an adventure vehicle, not a truck. 

It sits in a strange place between pickups and SUVs with more of a curvy, sloping design. The Santa Cruz is based on the Hyundai Tucson, but part of the roof was removed to replace the trunk area with a truck bed. SUV in the front, truck in the back! 

How does the Santa Cruz perform? 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz might look strange to some people, but it serves as a value-packed, affordable option with plenty of utility. It offers the convenience of a pickup without the massive size. 

You can get started in a new Santa Cruz for about $23,990. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. But you can upgrade to the 2.5-liter turbo for 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. The Santa Cruz gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 27 mpg on the highway. 

It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds, which is faster than the Ford Maverick. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 5,000 lbs. Also, it has a ground clearance of 8.6-inches. 

While the Santa Cruz can tow trailers and smaller campers, it’s not the best option for off-roading. However, it should handle gravel and dirt roads just fine with plenty of space for your gear. 

The dual-clutch automatic transmission is quick and crisp, and the Santa Cruz handles like a sporty SUV. It features responsive steering and handling and is impressive around curves. Use the paddle shifters to kick things up a notch. 

Does the Santa Cruz have good features? 

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz near the beach
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Hyundai

Yes, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz provides a smooth ride and absorbs impacts well. However, there is a bit of noticeable road noise. The front seats are well-padded and supportive, but the back seats aren’t as bolstered. 

It comes with a standard 8.0-inch infotainment system that can be upgraded to a 10.3-inch unit. Plus, a fully digital gauge cluster display is included. You can opt for a wireless phone charger, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

The truck bed has plenty of space for mountain bikes and other equipment. It includes a spacious under-floor cargo area that serves as a more traditional trunk. You can use the lockable tonneau cover to protect your items as well. 

If you can get past its looks, the Hyundai Santa Cruz isn’t weird at all. It’s an efficient utility vehicle that’s fun and capable. It handles better than traditional trucks but still provides plenty of truck benefits.

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